shock, of course, to our family and to me. breast cancer had never entered my mind. >> at a time when cancer was spoken out of in whispers, betty ford's discussion was credited with saving thousands of lives. >> i always think well, when i go down those stairs with my husband, they are probably wondering, now which side did she say it was? >> in the 2 1/2 years she spent as first lady, she was candid about her opinions and didn't shrink from controversy. mrs. ford favored the pro rights movement and admits she would try marijuana if she were a teenager. suffering from the stress of her public role and after effects of her illness, mrs. ford became hooked on pain killing drugs and alcohol. after leaving the white house, she entered a california hospital to kick the habits. >> i was very comfortable going public with my addiction and going to treatment.